It’s time for the Blackhawks to dump dead weight

Most people expected the Blackhawks to struggle this year. There are some nice pieces coming, and a motivated Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been strong to begin the 2018-19 season, but Chicago’s last four games have been ugly.

On Thursday night in Edmonton, Nick Schmaltz was a healthy scratch. He didn’t have a good game in Vancouver the night before and took one for the team the following night.

Coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t happy after Wednesday night’s game. He was more agitated after Thursday’s loss.

Are the wheels starting to come off?

The Blackhawks dressed Chris Kunitz, Andreas Martinsen, Luke Johnson, Marcus Kruger and John Hayden on Thursday. Those five players have six combined points thus far this season. Because of the Hawks’ depth, those five are battling for bottom six ice time. When the Hawks signed Kunitz, re-acquired Kruger and re-signed Martinsen it meant wasn’t going to be available for prospects like Dylan Sikura, who is now skating in Rockford.

Chicago’s front office added veterans before last season and it failed. Lance Bouma, Tomas Jurco, Tommy Wingels and, yes, Patrick Sharp meant younger players who might actually add something to the lineup like Vinnie Hinostroza, Ryan Hartman, Matthew Highmore and Hayden didn’t have available ice time.

Hinostroza registered 25 points in 50 games last year. Bouma and Jurco posted 19 combined points in 82 combined games played.

The Blackhawks are paying Toews and Kane two of the biggest salaries in the NHL, and both of them are nearing the age of 30. At some point you view them as the “experience” young players need to emulate and stop bringing in bandaids who aren’t viable NHL contributors on rosters with postseason aspirations any more.

Kunitz, 39, has experience. Terrific. The last time he had more than 40 points in a season was 2013-14. He went to Tampa as a free agent last year and could have benefited from a younger, faster, deeper lineup than the Hawks have in Chicago. He scored 13 goals.

The line to sign Kunitz wasn’t very long.

But the number of people who want to see Sikura in the NHL is growing. He has two goals and five assists in nine games with the IceHogs this season after collecting three assists in five NHL games with the Hawks last year.

Sikura is tied for the points lead in Rockford with his brother, Tyler, and Highmore.

I, for one, would rather watch the younger Sikura brother and Highmore gain valuable NHL experience while contributing to the Blackhawks than another shift from Kunitz, Kruger or Martinsen.

After Thursday night’s loss the frustration from Quenneville was clear. Sitting Schmaltz sends a message that not only was the coach not happy with his young forward’s performance, but it was also a subtle reminder that there’s dead weight on the NHL roster that gives Q “options” for playing time, and the results when those players are in the lineup is a shutout loss.

Last year the Blackhawks waited until it was apparent the playoffs weren’t likely to begin dumping underwhelming veterans like Bouma. If the fans are to believe the pretty television commercials that the players aren’t happy about missing the postseason last year, it’s up to the front office to put them in position to get back into the dance.

And wasting any more ice time on Kunitz is the most glaring example of a philosophical failure.

It’s November. Do what’s best for the team’s chances now. Let the kids play.

80 thoughts on “It’s time for the Blackhawks to dump dead weight

  1. Agree 100% Tab, if they’re losing then lets lose with the young kids. Get rid of the deadweight and move on, it will make them better down the road. Stan constantly trying to catch lightning with over the hill veterans and throw away players is getting old.

  2. Other than Hayden (who if he is placed with the right players is useful), those other guys all suck, agree. You can add Kampf to the Rockford bus as well.

    Tab, spot on. As bad as Manning is, if the forwards were solid and contributing from a four line standpoint, he wouldn’t be as harmful. Time is of the essence; this is like someone needing to undergo a surgery to remedy a life-threatening condition and putting it off.

    It was impossible to think the top forwards would continue to carry the load every night, it doesn’t work that way. If that was the case, Kane & Debrincat would have 200 points this season. Solidifying the bottom two lines is critical, or the season will go off the rails quickly.

  3. have preached this for 2 years. can only hope the hawks find a condition for seabisquit that was bowmans wort deal ever. keith still has game but should be moved to a team that has plenty of prospects or draft choices as he can help a contender.its evident we cant move corey. but weve had several years to try and draft our next goalie. maybe time to move toewes back to his home in winnepeg, i love him but hes played a ton of hockey the idea is to sell high. kaner he can skate with anyone hes worth every penny of his contract, kruger was a mistake, the team needs a rebuild . to be honest dont think stan is the man let him go

  4. Agreed it is time to move on from FO and coaching. Bring in new blood and dump the useless guys. Toews and Kane Stay unless we get really high NHL ready return. Other than that time to start now so we have shot at playoffs

  5. Agreed

    Every minute of ice time allocated to any player that does not have the potential to contribute to a cup run in 2 – 3 years is a waste of time. You are either in a cup run or preparing for a cup run. This team does not have the talent therefore they should be preparing.

    Side note, watching Saad out there is just down right painful. He cannot finish and is constantly giving up the puck. Trial is over and the verdict is in, its time to trade him. At best he presents as a 4th liner, might expensive 4th liner.

  6. Love to see some room made for young guys, good points. Kunitz nmc makes moving him anywhere but pressbox difficult and Q won’t leave him there.
    Sikura seems to be finding his game in Rockford and could bolster top 9 and Highmore can contribute too. Ejdsell not a lost cause yet either.

    Martinsen hits a few people but other than that i don’t see any plus to his playing. Agree Kunitz looks like a shot player out there, thought used in the bottom 6 with controlled but minutes he would be asset but so far adds a little grit and not much else. Kruger as a top pk guy and good checking game at least needs somebody to replace his contributions so far.

    After a few days off early next week they have a hectic run to the Christmas break, so some young legs to handle that stretch may make big difference in next couple of months. As we see some of the older slower legs starting to look sluggish in 3rd periods already.

    Some of the defensemen can definitely play better but some solid support from the forwards would go a long way to helping there.

  7. I think Kunitz probably should be 13th FW but if he’s on the 4th line I’m ok with that but that should be his ceiling

    Agree on Martinsen (send him down) – even though he hits there is almost zero chance of any scoring from him

    It was nice to see Kane up with Toews and Dcat last night in the 3rd period – don’t know if Kahun can be 3C but probably worth looking at Fortin – Kahun – Sikura as a 3rd line and a 4th of Johnson – Kruger – Hayden or put Highmore on that line

    Kane and Schmaltz can be top 2 RW – whatever order works best

    Disagree with negative comments on Saad – he was one of Hawks best players last night IMO

  8. What we don’t want is the Hawks front office and coaching staff to be working at cross purposes but that appears to be what is happening. If the mission statement from on top to the coaching staff is win now (or else implied), then the coaching staff takes the short term view by prioritizing winning games over developing young players – it’s a matter of job survival. This is how teams get mired in mediocrity – by having a dysfunctional management team that try to have their cake and eat it too.

    If the team is in “win now” mode – then the front office must do better than provide the coach with Kunitz and Manning. But more than the puzzling moves this summer were the perplexing move last summer when Panarin was traded for Saad. We were told the trade was made for “cost certainty” – in other words Saad has 2 years longer on his contract and Panarin was going to cost more after the 2018/19 season. That is NOT a “win now” move, and yet the coach is essentially told to win now.

    Reloading on the fly sounds easier than it is in a salary cap league. The Hawks are on the precipice of falling into the position where the only thing that will get them back into legitimate Cup contention is a fall all the way to the bottom where they can possibly hit on some top-5 draft picks like they did in 2006 and 2007. McDonough isn’t wired for the lose now to win later approach though and so most likely the Hawks will be a perennial bubble team and squander the last good years of 19 and 88.

    Hoping that all the stars align and somehow the Hawks can get one more kick at the can with the old core and some young guys coming into their own is kind of like hoping to win the lotto – possible but not likely. But that’s all we’ve got so we cling to that hope.

    They say the buck stops at the top – Rocky has to make the decision to gamble on the long odds to win now or take a hit in the pocketbook to do a true “hit bottom” rebuild. Then he has to assemble the correct management team to accomplish the mission. Whichever direction he decides to steer his ship – he can’t have his management team operating at cross purposes which is what he has now.

  9. Wrap i would like to see for a few game trial, see if it works.
    12 19 88
    20 8 95
    84 15 24
    16 62 40 Maybe Highmore for 16

    Give a loaded top line, Sikura a look and have 3 lines capable of scoring and be responsible on defence too. They want Schmaltz to be a top 6 center as part of the future and he plays better there, so play him there and let him develop with wingers who may be playing with him as part of his future line.

  10. Don’t disagree with anything stated in the article. When you sign a guy like Kunitz to see if he has one last good season in him, how long does it take to decide that he doesn’t? And what do you do with him when that happens?

    The one thing I will say in defense of having a tighter leash on younger guys is that with veterans there is a larger body of work to draw from when evaluating them so it is easier to give a veteran the benefit of the doubt when he does stumble. With young players, it’s hard to know if a bad shift is a pattern or an anomaly. When a young player earns Q’s trust its by playing with the consistency of a veteran. Young guys like DeBrincat and Jokiharyu are almost always doing the little things to put them in a position to succeed, whether it turns into goal or not. So Q treats them like a veteran in terms of letting them push past a bad play or weak shift. So with a guy like Kunitz or Kruger, I get having a little longer leash, but it shouldn’t be infinitely long…

    The point about needing a stabilizing veteran presence on a squad that has Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook and Crawford (as well as Anisimov) is an excellent point that cannot be overstated. What is Kunitz going to bring to the table that 2 and 3 time Cup winners can’t? Just let the kids play already.

  11. There is a reason Kruger played his way to the AHL last year and went unclaimed through waivers. Try hard defense first centers with zero offensive ability are a dime a dozen and every NHL team has one or two at their AHL affiliate. There certainly is no need to pay $3 million for one. Unless you are Stan. Wasting money on zero impact players at the bottom of the roster is a pastime of his.

  12. AMEN!!!
    Management has created this mess which started with Teuvo and Danault trades. Then the arrogant trade of Panarin and Hammer was dumb. The real dead weight is Stan Bowman. We all agree his is the problem. And Coach Q needs to ride his top horses which includes # 8 and not #24 Kahun.
    The other dead weight, well we all know who there are…Bowman has a list!
    Signing a free agent gamble that might have impact is not Kruger or Kunitz or Kahun… Maybe Ric Nash or James Neil or Tatar…etc.. players who have produced not Kunitz who had 40 points in 2013-14???
    $3miilion for a 34 year old was another dumb move….we could have used that money for a winger.

  13. Apart from letting things slip away in the 3rd period the past few games the team was pretty competitive. What seemed apparent to me was the inability to hit the net off quality scoring chances, as well as not burying the really top end opportunities. Hot goalies or simply really inaccurate/ bad luck shooting? Bottom line goals that should have been scored weren’t. At least there were loads of opportunities. End result, games lost.

    This team continues to turn over pucks that should be completed passes or effective zone clears. Team defense remains an issue. Given the present roster I am afraid this is what we must endure.

    Ultimately, this team is thin on talent, especially on the back end. The present group is going to have good games and bad games. Bowman put this group together. It’s on him. So far in this young season the results are what most of would have expected. The good news is our top end guys are playing pretty well. I can’t ask much more from Kane and Toews or Crow. Schmaltz looks great and then he goes into a funk of sorts. Concentration, will to win? He is inconsistent, and not deserving of a huge raise from the Hawks that he wants. Saad is showing some positive progress in my eyes since last week, which is probably growing confidence. That guy could have had 5 goals easy the past 2 games. He just has to get that finishing touch back. The chances are clearly there and he is making them with speed and power.

    This Hawks team requires fans to look at what we can realistically expect from the guys that are out there skating. It’s gonna be thrills and bad spills. Hell, rotate some guys in from Rockford. What is there to lose? Making playoffs was a stretch with this lineup before the season began. It’s the same group so why expect great things? Many things need to come together for this team to make playoffs. Is it possible, sure. Is it likely, well that’s a stretch imo. Play the kids. I just want a team that competes for 60 minutes.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  14. I think it would have been nice for Coach Q to challenge and give #8 a real confidence booster by adding him to AA and Saad instead of Kunitz??? A 39 year old who will be on waivers soon if Bowman can leave his pride at the front door?
    Nick is 22 years old after all but this smells like Teuvo and Vinny and Hartman all over again.. Young guys who produced under the shadow of the vets and yet get moved around or benched after a bad game or two. Recipe for disaster. This needs to stop. When you have no talent on your bottom six why pick on number 8 and 20???
    Send a message and bench all of Bowman’s free agent busts, and tell the GM I need talent or I quit. Say all this with Rocky and his posse in the room if you want to send a real message.

  15. This won’t be the last time Schmaltz needs to take a seat. He is not a self driven player. He needs prodding and prompting. His performance to date has been inadequate. You don’t reward that with additional ice time. That is the only stick a coach has in today’s game. In older times, they could run you right out of the league and / or affect your next contract. Only thing they can do now is limit or take away ice time if you don’t get it. So far, Schmaltz doesn’t get it this year.

  16. I get tired of watching Schmaltz skate around in circles. It’s like watching a toilet bowl swirling. He loves the open ice, but the tight spaces not so much. Problem is you have to be able to play where the ice is crowded. The guy needs to take some straighter lines and get dirtier. Otherwise, I don’t see him ever breaking through to a higher level and right now he isn’t very effective.

  17. To Hull’s comment about Kunitz – he’s making $1M this year, not $3M.

    Kunitz is the kind of player who should be a 12th or 13th forward on a team trying to make the playoffs for the first time in years…. he’s not an option for a team with legitimate championship aspirations.

  18. Ian – I like the look of your lines, mine were similar – whether Schmaltz plays C or W
    is not the real issue, the real issue is he should be top 6

    Not disagreeing with how Q’s handling him just saying with his talent he should be top 6 – hopefully he’s got Q’s message and will start to play better

    I thought the Hawks would call up Sikura and/or Forsling for this Western trip – it’s looking like they should have

  19. again I point out that Kunitz in all likelihood approached the blackhawks and not the other way around. His wife is from chicago.

  20. Ian, I really like those lines a lot. I think it’s gotten to the point where Q’s logic for keeping Toews and Kane on different lines no longer applies – the opposing teams no longer have to “pick their poison” on which line to play their top d-men against. Neither line commands that much respect any longer. Let’s try to get one line worthy of commanding that respect by playing the only (3) top-6 forwards who consistently produce like top-6 forwards. Neither Toews nor DCat will defer a shot in order to pass to Kane which in and of itself is a reason to put those three together.

    Moving Schmaltz back to center apart from Kane gives him a chance to play his game without keeping one eye out for an opportunity to pass to Kane. Saad and either Sikura or Kahun have enough top-6 ability to play well with Schmaltz, or atleast well enough to give it a shot.

    I’ve really come around on Johnson. I used to think he was basically the same player as Kampf and Highmore – throw them in a basket and pick one. But now I like Johnson appreciably more than Kampf and the main reason is he is faster, noticeably. They both have high energy and I don’t dislike Kampf but I think Johnson is a keeper on the 4th line and PK.

  21. Agree with Gibson that Keith should be moved for prospects/picks. Face it, the Hawks are in a partial-to-almost-full rebuild cycle. You may as well get younger talent while you can. Same with AA, if you can get a 2nd round pick or decent prospect. Also, a Seabs salary dump should be on the table (that ludicrous contract extension made sense to just the “great” Bowman) if this can be done without also parting with a pick or prospect.

  22. Amen Tab:

    Many fans don’t recall that Seabs, Keith, Toews, Sharp Buff, Crow etc all got playing time as young players and they all made plenty of mistakes but didn’t get the random Q doghouse blackball routine that he gave to a lot of talented players that the B’s had to get rid of cause Q wouldn’t play them.

    Q is also quite public about his disdain, further devaluing Blackhawk assets before they were moved. This was something Keenan used to do that drove me nuts: Doug Wilson had 3 excellent years left in him but was publicly trashed by K and then traded for Terry Toporpwski cause Wilson would not bow down to K in the locker room.

    A few examples of Q doing this:

    Leddy worth 6M$/year 30M$ total on the open market & one of the most gifted skaters in the game, wasn’t good enough for Q and Q destroyed his confidence here by constantly jacking him around. We sure could use a top 4 D man like Leddy now.

    TT and Vermette win us the first cup game in TB in the 2015 finals, a game that resembled the recent debacle with TB: We were not even in the game till TT seeing eye shot from the wall and Vermette’s goal from the slot a couple minutes later. We were dominated for 55 minutes before that and won a game we had no business winning.

    Q’s response? He doesn’t even DRESS them, much less play them for game one in UC: Instead he dresses the one man band named Versteeg, a completely uncoachable and undisciplined flash in the pan. He also dresses the one man rain delay Rosival against the aptly named Lightning squad and we predictably lose the game.

    Vermette, a seasoned veteran who was OUR BEST face off man those playoffs and most of the time here, gets jacked around like a rookie and won’t even talk to us about a contract even tho he is a free agent who just won his first cup here. Why? Q. He then signs for less than we are paying Anisimov elsewhere.

    There are many other examples of Q not using and or imploding talent provided by the Bowmans. Q had a great run here and I respect and appreciate him and his contributions over his superb coaching career. Many say Q is infallible because he won 3 cups here. I say he is much like Ditka who won it all but had the talent to win at least one more, but he couldn’t coach it home.

    Q gift rapped the 2014 cup to LA getting completely out-coached by Sutter who had a great team but not as good a team as ours: In OT, Q plays 2 exhausted lines including feet in concrete Rosival VS Sutter who rolled 4 rested lines. It was hard to believe what I witnessed there and it was all on Q. Hawks would have annihilated NYR in final just as LA did.

    The old school tendencies of Q and even Babcock are beginning to cost their teams. Relying on experienced slow veterans with grit and maybe a cup or two in the past is not the way to develop the youth or win in today’s nhl which is now more about speed than any other factor. If the 33 shots TB put on our net in period 2 of the last game doesn’t tell everyone that, I don’t know what will.

    Q’s achilles heel is his inability or unwillingness t0 develop youth, and to stick with grizzled vets who were never that great and are way past their sell by date, Kunitz for instance. That weakness is killing this team now.

    B’s and Q have not been on the same page in a long time: Winning can cammo that but not anymore. The other fact is the MCD knows very little about hockey (and doesn’t know it) and is a decent marketing guy when we are winning or in the run for cups, but he can’t fill the barn for a mediocre rebuild squad.

    We let our season tickets go this year and even when the hawks were 3-1-1 at the start this year, they were selling in the secondary market for 50% of our cost last year. That is telling. Particularly galling was MCD decision to raise average ticket prices 4% this year after the dumpster fire that was last year: That is called “tone deaf”.

    Rocky, if you are listening, my respectful suggestion is to consider these moves:
    Q and MCD out, B’s make all hockey decisions, Donny Granato gets the chance he has earned to develop our youth (won with U-17’s) as head coach. Someone else is “President” but doesn’t have authority over hockey decisions, or at a minimum keep MCD out of hockey decisions. DG reports to B’s & B’s report to you only re hockey.

    And as Tab so eloquently writes, dump the dead weight and let the kids play. It is the fastest (no pun intended) way back to excellence and a real chance at the cup once again. It will also be much more entertaining to watch than the schizophrenic blend of players that is the result of the the conflicted relationship between B’s and Q,

    Lastly, I must say I believe I speak for generations of Hawk fans in saying THANK YOU for what you have given us the last 10 years. I never expected to see 1 much less 3 cups and you are the primary catalyst that has brought us such bliss over that run. So our hats are off to you Rocky: Long may you run.

  23. Ian–love your lines. Here’s where I go with it (for now):
    20 – 19 – 88
    24 – 15 – 12
    84 – 8 – 40
    64 – 16 – 62

    2 – 28
    56 – 7
    Dahlstrom – Raddysh (exciting, right?!)

    If Kruger continues to struggle or third line just proves to be somehow too high for Hayden (which I just don’t understand)–then you tinker with Rockford players. Am I the ONLY ONE who thinks Tyler Sikura needs to be up? The dude has been calling his own number since he signed on and has the grit, drive and smarts to play in the big league.

    Some of the most intelligent hockey comments I’ve ever read in my life! I’m more excited about Hawks fans than the Hawks right now.

    Please–don’t stop the Rockford shuffle at the forward group. Manning is a dumpster fire. Davidson isn’t far off (though the eye test is slightly better than Manning’s). Rutta has looked terrified. There has to be someone in Rockford that would benefit from playing with the big club? The first few games were fun but it’s already starting to look like the point that I tuned out last year; just got a bit too frustrating to watch. I do think Saad is starting to find his top six game. Schmaltz should be given a long leash. Kunitz and Martinsen? Really? That’s all we’ve got?

    I’m not sure about the comments on letting Q go. He should have won the Jack Adams two seasons ago for the damage he did in the West with a similar roster. I do agree that the front office and the coaching staff have seemingly different goals and it’s going to play out negatively for our young guns. For the life of me, the list of silly things Bowman has done with personnel is growing so long…..I understand that canning Bowman likely means Q takes a job elsewhere (I have nightmares that it will be Minnesota or St. Louis)–I just don’t see a rebuild with Bowman at the helm.

    Go Hawks (fans)!

  24. Guys, go back & read the post from EBONYRAPTOR at 9:17 am. Everyone heard Rocky & McD & Bowman state that the goal this year is making the playoffs.

    That means Q is being evaluated on whether he can take the team he has been given and reach that goal. All of your moaning that “Q needs to play the kids” is simply inconsistent with his assignment, and the objective laid out by the people above him. Q’s job assignment is to win NHL games, not develop kids – that’s Colliton’s job.

    The roster is what it is Q’s assignment is what you’ve heard it to be. Don’t blame Q for trying to complete his assignment. If he gets fired, it will be wins & losses, not “he didn’t play the kids en

  25. Thanks Bill – it has to be a meritocracy although I don’t know what Kunitz did to merit the second line last night

  26. I can’t help but ask, Bill, when the last time someone in charge said something only to have it mean nothing a short while later due to the realities of the on-the-ground situation?

    The goal every year is making the playoffs–how long can that one line dictate the strategy of an entire organization? We’re not suggesting Q needs to play the kids to develop them–we think they might be better than the inhabitants from the Island of Misfit Toys that Bowman inked this summer…

    I’m not arguing with you–we’re on the same side. Play the kids because the shitbirds ahead of them can’t fly (and aren’t winning). I agree not to blame Q.

  27. See Nalimov terminated his khl contract. Wonder if there is any chance he signs an elc and agrees to go to Rockford. Forsberg or Delia would have to be moved then.
    Bill i was responding to article citing deadweight and meaning i feel the younger players i talked about give them a better shot at playoffs. Which would be in Q’s job’s description.

  28. Plain and simple, the dead weight is all those dumb signings plus Bowman must go! What hockey trades has he made and won????
    Coach Q needs a GM with real hockey pedigree like a Wilson or Tallon that runs the prospects and the free agent signings with NHL knowledge. And that tells him to stop ruining players like Hartman, Vinny, Kempny, Teuvo, Duclair, Leddy, TVR, and now Schmaltz!!!
    STOP the nonsense!

  29. Tallon’s friend and ex-Hawk Bergevin in Montreal traded for Domi, Tatar, for Reilly, signed free agent and ex-1st rounder Ouellet from Detroit ….making them young and faster with ex-high draft picks not never drafted, washed up free agents!!!

  30. Pretty sure Ouellet is a washed up free agent signing…that is if never was and washed up are one in the same.

  31. Jordy, we said similar things about Teuvo. Has talent. Need grit.

    Someone wise said Kruger wasn’t a sure thing to make the roster out of camp. Others said Toews was doing well because Kruger took some of the defensive duties. I think Kampf and Johnson are more than capable of 3/4c duties.

    Gustafsson has too many lapses to make the offensive upside worth it. I still like Forsling, But he’s not ready yet and I think needs to boost confidence.

  32. Completely agree on not blaming Q. That being said I’m all for calling up a few of rockfords finest Sikura and Highmore and play them on a 3rd line.
    Keep Kunitz on 4th line and 13th forward purposes.
    Send Kampf or Johnson down to play every game. Waive Martinsen.

  33. Everything GoFor4 said about Q is true, especially him getting outcoached in 2014. We all saw he shortened the rotation and ran the guys into the ground. That said, Uncle Bill (from Family Affair? Buffy, Jody, Mr French?) Is also correct in saying Q is following Stans orders. Therefore, both comments reveal the disconnect we seem to have sniffed for years, that Q and Stan on different pages.

  34. No need to tank for 5 yrs and hope for another 19 or 88. They only come around once or twice every ten yrs.

    We just got a top 3 pick in Boqvist. He was ranked 2nd after the top guy earlier in the draft yr. So wherever people had/ve him, hes a top pick and a wk or so from being a top 3/5 pick in the 20 draft.

    So I think if the record sucks at 60 games, then do wat we did last yr. It will be hard to do that though, with top 3 goalie. It was easy to do that with two ahl goalies. Big difference.

    I think were on the right track, by doing what weve done last two yrs. Thats getting good picks from draft and we have to wait until there ready.
    Were going to add one/prob two GOOD ufas this summer/and another one next summer-unless in trade.
    What the roster looks like at training camp in SEP, after we make moves this deadline/draft/summer, is what I am interested in.

    Until then, what difference does it make. Were not a top 5 roster this yr and wont be until we get deep/2 yrs were deep. Do whatever people/the fans want, so there satisfied with lineups.

  35. In the summer of 2014 one of Leddy or Oduya was going to go for the Hawks to be cap compliant

    The Hawks chose the veteran Oduya over Leddy and it paid off with a Cup in 2015 in which Oduya played a huge part partnered with Hammer

    If it was Q who chose Oduya over Leddy in 2014 (and he probably had significant input) then he was correct unless you’d rather have Leddy here than a 3rd Cup

    Also we couldn’t afford Vermette after 2015 (and he wanted to go back to ARZ) or Richards for that matter – it’s that cap thing again

  36. Yeah, I saw Boqvist was scratched tonight … troubling considering he got his head banged last Friday, came out of the game and then didn’t play Saturday and the word was no concussion, just sick. Now, a week later – is he still sick or is there cause for alarm?

  37. Coach Q’s Ghost – are you suggesting Boqvist was scratched from London’s game tonight because he may be getting called up to the Hawks? That would be nuts – I can’t imagine the Hawks would do that.

    More likely the head bang was more than was reported, unfortunately. Hope I’m wrong and there is some other reason.

  38. Amen also Tab, have not read all comments, but could not agree more about Kunitz, has he been scratched yet, if not, WHY? Same for Krueger, how many penalties do you need to see?
    I do feel good about Martinsen, I think he is worth it, if not every game maybe. I saw him in the playoffs in person at Rockford last year and for some reason I thought he brought more to the Hawk games he played than Rockford.

  39. Ebony, I’m pretty sure Boqvist cannot be called up to Chicago until London’s
    season is over. I was told concussion last Saturday.
    If Boqvist is not in London’s lineup next weekend I would say that would be
    cause for alarm.

  40. @HEREISMIKE ….. Bravo!
    I could not agree with you more on Schmaltz. Last season it took a trip down to Rockford to get him to realize that he could/should shoot the damn puck. I doubt they’ll do it but it appears it’s time for that again. He has to be prodded, as you alluded to. He drifts in and out of effective play. He’s very skilled but seems like a head case. Don’t defer to the “great ones”. Be one of them. Go to the net with the puck and shoot it!

    As for other things ….. yeah, I think it’s time for Kunitz to go. Don’t think it’s time for Q to go.

  41. London free press saying Boqvist skated yesterday going to do a contact workout today and if all good be back in lineup. Says being early in season taking extra pecaution with him.

    No he can’t be called up until his junior season ends. Emergency callup rule but only if the blackhawks can’t ice 18 skaters and get anybody from Rockford on time. No going to happen only goalies would ever it haappen for most likely.

  42. Thanks guys. I wasn’t sure on the call up rule.

    The story I read was that he was pulled out of Friday’s game for precautionary reasons but the reason he didn’t play Saturday (after not having any concussion symptoms) was due to him having a cold or being sick. I’f they’re still being cautious a week later it seems the “cold/sick” excuse was BS. Maybe that’s just a communication breakdown, giving the benefit of the doubt, but it raises a red flag for me.

  43. It said he had hrad cold all week so extra caution to make sure. Eing so early in season. If i could post it i would.

  44. Time for Q to put his arrogance in his back pocket and leave it there. Bowman has made many mistakes the last 3 years to hurt this team in the long run. Time for Wirtz to re-evaluate these 2 for their performances. The bottom 6 forwards look lost as units, defense is unsure what they need to do on every shift. Time to jettison the old timers/has been if they want to make the playoffs. Bring in the the kids that have the hunger to win, offense and defense. Can’t let too many games get lost because of procrastination. If Crow is not able to do his job consistently then get someone who can. Kids on offense can learn quickly by watching Kane, the best on the team, and in the NHL.Make the damn moves,tired of hearing excuses for the incompetence of management and players that don’t belong in the NHL Get pride back in the BLACKHAWKS !!!!

  45. Indian, that’s what I am thinking.

    Think were fine, heading in right direction-the right way.
    If we were bad with a full deep roster, then I would worry.

  46. They guy who said, youre deep or your setting up for being deep. Thats it.

    Thats why we have those guys last yr and this yr. We have to wait for the good draft picks and when Certain ufas (difference makers) are available.

    Until then, just small potatoes.

  47. This team, as I have said before, in it’s current form is NOTHING GOING NOWHERE.
    The problems are everywhere. Number one problem starts at the top – Stan Bowman. He has, single handedly made the poorest decisions possible. 1) gross long term heavy $ thank you contracts to players that are simply not worth half of what they are being payed – and that includes Toews who is already back to where he has been the last few years – nowhere going nowhere. 2) poor off season signings that simply wasted more $ and smack of desperation in an attempt to find a savior – like praying a 39 year old slower than hell Kunitz would score 40 goals this year – ya right, what did you expect Stanly? 3) total mismanagement of past and current youth – giving them away to other teams for nothing in return, while signing older washed up veteran rejects from other teams – AKA Kunitz – while leaving no roster room for the youth to possibly gain experience and confidence in an NHL setting.

    Just start by getting rid of Stan. Plain and simple.
    Q is not the problem. He’s been handed a rotten bag of vegetables and asked to make a delicious salad out of it. Not his fault.
    And just hope the Hawks end up where they belong this year – at the bottom of the standings. And perhaps the rebuild can start with a Jack Hughes draft pick.

  48. Were not getting a top 10 pick, with Crow.
    With two ahl goalies, maybe.

    Hes the difference between a 7th pick and 16-19/22 pick.

    We had to have two ahl goalies and that many things/sch./posts/bounces/puck luck/you name, it happened last yr.
    JUST to get a 7th pick.

  49. Morrison… gotta disagree… Crow is under-rated – yes… But- he isn’t going to take this team out of a Top 10 Draft (barring some major trade for talent) with current roster!!!

    W/O Crow– this team is a top 6 draft pick… As Mentioned before- several BIG forwards – who can jump straight to NHL 2019 draft Kakko, Dach, Kaliyev… and of course the little #1 pick Hughes… to name a few

    I say- the Hawks – be sellers at TDL and improve chances of top 5 pick!!!

    Schmaltz- has been really underwhelming so far this year…
    worse than Saad really-imo

  50. Saad has been one of the best FWs since Q sent him a message

    Let’s see if Schmaltz responds similarly

    New lines today- Saad with Cat and Toews, AA between 8 and 88 – these I like

    then 14-64- 24
    and 84-16-29

    Hope Sikura is up soon to lend a little secondary scoring and push Kunitz off 3rd line

  51. Can someone give me a reason that Kunitz continues to be in the lineup? Martinsen at least hits and makes his presence known, albeit for only 8 minutes per game, but still, he does something when he’s on the ice. What impact does Kunitz have when he’s on the ice? The two forwards scratched for the game tonight – Johnson and Hayden – have way more impact than Kunitz. And yet, there is Kunitz in the lineup again. Maddening!

  52. Wall, I think Crow is that good. Not though if the D and FW leave him out to dry. Then yea it doesn’t matter.

    I would rather have a top 7 pick again, then get 12-22 pick.
    Really were not a top 5 roster, so until were deep again, it is better to get the better pick.

    I just want to see us play good and get these guys in, when their NHL ready.
    We know were adding good ufas like 72 or others.
    We prob trade some guys at deadline, like you mentioned.
    The question is who/might be someone people wouldn’t have thought.

    If we get a 1st for 38, we get 1st for 15.

  53. @ Morrison – I’m not here for another top 7 pick. Jokiharju is for real and the Hawks still have Boqvist & Mitchell coming to bolster the blue line. Hawks need to add another dynamic scoring option up front but Sikura should be in the NHL right now to see if it’s him. There are some intriguing other prospects up front coming as well.

  54. I am not. Just would rather have that then 12-22.
    Im just not believing in this, have to trade 2 and others to get good again.

    I still think were at/near the top of the 11-22 teams. Were good and bad.
    Were much better then last yr. I am not flipping out after a few loses or getting too high, to early when we win 5 in a row.

    I really like the Four Horsemen.
    Think were adding a good/high end ufa this summer.

  55. How about benching one of our over paid do nothings ? Schmaltz making under a million ,.,.,got A.A at 4.5 and Saad at 6 million ,.,.sit their non productive sorry asses .

    Q and Stanley both have their heads in the sand , give the kids a break Pride is getting in the way here and that my friends is not good .

  56. Totally disagree re: trading 2. If you think the Hawks are getting exceptional value for a 35-year-old with 4 years left on his contract – esp with some of the defensemen hitting the market in the next 8-20 months – you’re setting yourself up for massive disappointment.

  57. ER – I would have liked to see Fortin – Johnson – Kahun as a 3rd line – it would be inexperienced but fast and energetic something the Hawks could use

    I’m OK with Kampf in for Johnson although I think Johnson has more upside

    Even with Kampf there’s not much NHL experience if he’s in between Fortin and Kahun so have to assume Q thinks Kunitz’s experience and defensive awareness is needed

    He may be right even though I’d rather see Fortin on the 3rd on Kunitz on the 4th or in the press box

    Let’s see how it plays out tonight but clearly the young guys will have to prove themselves trustworthy before Q will regularly scratch Kunitz

  58. Agree Keith teaching the young future stars is more impirtant than what he brings in a trade. The big 4 all will need to emulate Keith’s style of defending, who better to teach them how.
    This year will be a rollercoaster, but there is potential to improve and some new faces will be in the lineup next year to keep getting better.

  59. I guess I would be ok with it, but it would have to be well worth it in return.

    What/list really good/top FW and Defensemen are available in 19 and 20 summer as ufas.

  60. LEDDY won a Cup!!!

    Anyway, Coach Q wrong again with tonight’s lineup. Playters playing on their ioff wing again. Only HOSSA, PANARIN and KANE have been elite for the Hawks on the off wing. Stop the AA nonsense!!! Focus on Nick Schmaltz before Bowman trades him for nothing like he did with Hartman after Q ruined his confidence after a rookie season of 19 goals.
    LEFT CENTER RIGHT
    84 19 12
    20 8 88
    64 15 24
    14 16 40

  61. Tab, your right. Its easy to get lost this yr/only thinking about now. When we have some really good players coming.
    If we did add a good ufa defenseman to go along with these guys we have, we could have a dang good group of D in 2 yrs.

    Just want the FWs to get assembled and get it together this yr, so their already ready when the D start playing.

  62. If a rookie dude scores 28 goals on his off shot handed side.
    Then I keep him there and the other wing can play on other side, no matter what side is their better.

  63. Has anyone noticed how well the last 5 traded for players are performing for our team? Thank you, Stan. What a joke. And the fans are still supposed to believe in you? Do us all a favor and resign, and take Q with you. Both of you have lost touch with reality.

  64. Forsling and Darling both out this wknd with groin injuries. Highmore still banged up, unsure of what exactly. Snuggerud taken into boards hard, hit his head on wooden ledge i believe and stretchered off tonight.

  65. At least we’re talking hockey-that’s good-But
    What was most embarrassing about tonight’s game?
    #6. the effort by three quarters of the team
    #5. having 11 shots late in the game
    #4. their 6 on 4 effort at the end
    #3. Hayden not playing over 14 and 29 (that’s on Q)
    #2. The 5 guys playing defence tonight-3 of them belong in the AHL
    #1. If they had of won that game-not that would have been really embarrassing-

    It will be a long year. Crow can’t help this developing mess.

  66. That’s like crap from last yr.

    Last two games.
    -we outshoot EDM 36-20 and their up in goals/they win.
    -CAL outshoots us 38-15 and were up in goals/they get two shit goals

    We just donot get the breaks. That should be 1-1 record, nope.

    I know its a transition yr and were going to be good and bad, but why in the fuck do we not get our fair share of the breaks/1-1 for those two games.

  67. I know.

    Just the last two were similar in shot and who was ahead.
    Deserevd it that way.

    Not that we played good enough to win, way.

    Just want fair share of breaks, I can live with transition/good and bad for the 82 games.

  68. Since waking up last Saturday morning, the Hawks have lost 5 games and have not scored one goal in the third period. Once the Cat hit the crossbar late in the second tonight, it was clear, that with the score 3-2, instead of 4-2, Calgary was going to overwhelm the Hawks and our AHL level defense and depth. And they did.

    It’s time for Rocky and McDonough to really take a good hard look for a hockey guy who knows how to build, not just tinker. Somebody with a proven track record of drafting and developing. Stan Bowman and his Business Degree from Notre Dame Is Not that guy.

    I agree with Tab. Play they kids but also sell, sell, sell at the deadline.

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